A History of Journalism in the Philippines – Introduction

Introduction

Journal, the root word of journalism, came from the Latin word diurnal, which means daily. In ancient Rome, brief communiqués were called Acta Diurna, which means Daily Events. Others were called Acta Publica, which means Public Events.

Journalism, the art and science of writing for newspapers, periodicals, radio, television, and online publications, enfolds timely and factual reports of unusual or unexpected events, opinions, or situations that affect man and his environment. These reports are gathered, evaluated, and published, broadcast, or posted on the Web to inform, to entertain, or to influence large number of readers.

The history of journalism started in ancient Egypt when heralds ran to pharaohs with oral reports and when town criers sang important announcements in public places. The first printed newspaper, produced from wood blocks, appeared in Beijing, China in the Seventh and in the Eight Centuries.

When Johan Guttenberg of Mainz, Germany invented the movable printing press in 1450, wider and faster dissemination of news stories were made possible. It also facilitated the exchange of ideas throughout Europe and the spread of the ideas of the Renaissance from 1300 to 1600.

On September 25, 1690, Benjamin Harris, an English refugee, published the Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick, the first American newspaper, in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1783, the Daily Advertisers and the Pennsylvania Evening Post, the first daily American newspapers, were published in Philadelphia.

The Gentleman’s Magazine, published from 1731 to 1907, was the first periodical to use the word magazine that denotes a vehicle of entertaining reading. It contained political essays, poems, stories, and debates and was very influential, serving for example, as the model for the American Magazine of Andrew Bradford and the General Magazine and Historical Chronicle of Benjamin Franklin, the first true American periodicals.

Next: A History of Journalism in the Philippines – Early Years